BINMALEY, Pangasinan - The sunset, sea breeze and the sound of waves added to the fun of the street party to celebrate the bounty of the sea in this town's Sigay Festival on Friday to promote the local businesses and tourism in the town.
The street party, usually held at the poblacion area, was moved to the Binmaley Baywalk where partygoers grill bangus (milkfish), hito (catfish), and tilapia as the town holds the Kalutan ed Baybay (grilling by the sea), which is part of Binmaley's Sigay Festival and town fiesta.
The Kalutan ed Baybay was conceptualized to help promote the restaurants and bars along the baywalk.
In an interview, Engr. Lex Fernandez, executive committee chairman, said about 320 grills were set along the Binmaley Baywalk in Barangay San Isidro Norte, stretching toward Barangay Buenlag.
"The participants and grill owners have their assigned grills," he said.
Fernandez said each grill costs PHP3,500 inclusive of 1 kilo of bangus, 2 kilos of hito, 2 kilos of tilapia, a grill thong, a table and 10 chairs, charcoal, a 1.5-liter soda, and two liters of liquor.
"There are three performance stages. Two of the stages were sponsored by local restaurants. The local government commissioned pop/rock band Orange and Lemons based in Manila as the main band," he added.
Fernandez said hito is the second leading among the aqua products of Binmaley.
"Number one still is bangus, while number three is tilapia. Many are now venturing into hito culture, and it is fast becoming a backyard industry. It is lucrative. They can culture in tanks," he said.
Hito businessmen had also captured a big part of the market (restaurants/eateries) not only in Binmaley, but also in other towns.
Assistant Municipal Administrator Gerry Apolinario said Mayor Pedro Merrera III opted for a simple opening.
"The Kalutan ed Baybay is a test run as the said street party in from the time it was launched several years ago, it was being held at the Poblacion area," he said.
Members of the Binmaley Police, the Philippine Army, and local civic organizations were also deployed.
There were also ambulances and firetrucks under the supervision of the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Center. (PNA)